The Lebanese army would not intervene if the Hizbullah-led "opposition" invaded the government building to overthrow Fouad Siniora's cabinet, Walid Jumblatt told Aljazeera yesterday, quoting a letter he said he received from an army general. "This implies a coup d'etat and a great catastrophy," he said. Jumblatt added that he asked army commander Michel Suleiman not to assume neutrality if riots broke out following a "presidential vacuum".
Jumblatt warned of a coup by Hizbullah, which he said was close to storming the government Serail on January 23rd had it not been to intervention by Arab countries and even Iran, which was concerned that a civil war would hurt its interests in the south. He described Hassan Nasrallah as a tool for a greater project, who cannot detach himself from the Assad regime and from his financial and military interests with Iran.
The Druze leader said he didn't mind being accused of being part of the American project, as long as the objective is to protect Lebanon from the Assad regime and the "Persian hegemony".
Jumblatt said the settlement of the crisis over the presidency should take place in Bkirki, and not Ain El Tineh (Berri's residence), adding that Sfeir has to know how to pick according to the conditions of the Cedar Revolution. Jumblatt said, however, that it was really up to the parliament's majority to select a candidate. He added that he has been lobbying for American and international recognition of a March 14 president elected by a simple majority.
On Suleiman's candidacy, Jumblatt said he told the army commander that he was opposed to amending the constitution, and that if Suleiman wanted a political position, he has to take off the army uniform first and become "a deputy, minister and maybe later a president... but no to the military returning to power".
Jumblatt said he hopes Aoun returns to his former self after his meeting with Hariri in Paris. He added that the former general has become a prisoner of Hizbullah and Syria, and that the meeting between the two (Jumblatt and Aoun) was canceled because Aoun said he could not meet with those who insult his allies.